Council Votes 8-0 To Name South St./Jaymills Open Space "Pressburg Parkway" Honoring Veteran NLB Community Advocate
Mayor Garcia Pushes Item To Near End of Council Agenda; Councilman Austin Silent/Vanished On Vote (But Present Before And After)
|(June 2, 2021, 4:05 a.m.) -- As seen LIVE on LBREPORT.com, the City Council voted 8-0 at its June 1 meeting to name green space at South St/Jaymills Ave. the "Pressburg Parkway," effectively recognizing years of community work (most of it volunteer) by NLB resident Dan Pressburg.
The action was agendized by Vice Mayor/CD 9 Councilman Rex Richardson joined by CD7 Councilman Roberto Uranga, effectively breaking a logjam of procedural delays on the naming precipitated in December 2020 by CD8 Councilman Al Austin.
On June 1, 2021, Mayor Robert Garcia moved the Richardson-Austin item to near the end of the Council's agenda and CD 8 Councilman Al Austin didn't vote on it although he voted on agenda items before and after the Pressburg naming item.
Section 2.03.100(B) of LB's Municipal Code provides: "Except when a conflict of interest exists and abstention is required by State law, every member of the Council who is present when a roll is called shall vote for or against the question, unless excused by a majority of the members present, prior to the calling of the roll on such question." Section 2.03.100(B) provides that "No member of the Council shall leave the Council chamber without permission from the Mayor." The meeting was conducted by digital means and it's unclear where Austin was during the vote on the agenda item.
No Councilmembers called a "point of order" on Austin's failure to vote. City Attorney Charles Parkin didn't insist on compliance with the Municipal Code provision on voting cited above.
After Vice Mayor Richardson and Councilman Uranga spoke in support of their agendized item, public speakers -- including Mr. Pressburg's son -- attested to this years of community involvement.
CD6 Councilwoman Suely Saro said she supported the naming. No other Councilmembers spoke before the vote.
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Richardson's Dec. 2020 proposal was initially derailed by Councilman Austin who said it should be sent to a Council committee to gauge community support. At the Committee meeting, Austin noted a lack of letters in support, delaying the naming to a subsequent Committee meeting. Austin then didn't attend the subsequent Committee meeting, enabling Committee member Councilwoman Cindy Allen to decline to make a motion to support the proposed naming. Without a motion pending to advance the item, Committee chair Supernaw relied on extemporaneous advice by a Deputy City Attorney who (without citing authority) said letting the public speak without a motion pending wouldn't be appropriate (effectively silencing members of the public who were prepared to testify in support.) (LBREPORT.com coverage here.) That Council Committee has since been replaced by a new Committee, leaving the proposed naming (literally) nowhere.
The net effect left naming-initiator Richardson and other Councilmembers able to agendize the item for full decision-making Council vote, which they did here that summarized Mr. Pressburg's years of community service.
Their agenda item stated in pertinent part:
[Richardson-Uranga June 1 agendizing memo]....Despite the support of a number of notable neighborhood leaders and local elected officials, this recommendation has yet to have an opportunity to be considered by the full council, even after being approved 6-0 by the Parks and Recreation Commission.
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